Beachfront living at Dh32m Balqis Residence on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah

Beachfront living comes at a price on Palm Jumeirah with the previously stalled development, Balqis Residence, offering a five-bedroom villa for Dh32 million.
The five-bedroom villa at Balqis Residence sells for up to Dh32 million. Rebecca Hobday
The five-bedroom villa at Balqis Residence sells for up to Dh32 million. Rebecca Hobday

Palm Jumeirah has long held its position as one of the top luxury destinations to live in Dubai.

But like all areas in the emirate, it was not immune to the fallout of the global financial crisis, with several projects on the development stalled as a result.

Among them is Balqis Residence, part of the Kingdom of Sheba resort, on the west crescent of the man-made island, with phase one of the development launched six years ago. The project now has four villas, one penthouse, three apartments and 12 suites in the market for sale. These will be handed over to the buyers in 14 to 18 months, according to the developer IFA Hotels and Resorts.

However, beachfront living at this project comes at a price with one five-bedroom villa on sale for Dh32 million. For that rate you receive 9,026 square feet of luxury villa split across four floors with a pool overlooking the waters. Naturally, to make it easy to access those floors, there is a private lift.

The ground floor features a sitting and separate dining room with direct views over the pool to the sea as well as a fitted kitchen and en suite fifth guest bedroom. On the first floor, there are a further four bedrooms including the master suite with a dressing area and on the second floor, there is a second sitting room and a shower room, which could be converted into a sixth bedroom. The lower ground floor holds the triple garage alongside a large play area/cinema.

While the Dh32m price tag is on the high side, Palm Jumeirah is one of the most expensive neighbourhoods in town with rates anywhere between Dh2,200 and Dh4,000 per sq ft, according to the property brokers Asteco. At Sobha Group’s Hartland project near Business Bay, villas start at Dh2,006 per sq ft, while at Emirates Hills villas it’s Dh1,700 per sq ft.

The five-bedroom villas offered by the Balqis project range from Dh25m and Dh32m, while the three-bedroom penthouse is on offer for Dh11.5m. The three-bedroom apartments start at Dh4.9m, and the suites range from a studio to a three-bedroom has a starting price of Dh1.75m.

The suites will be part of a rental management programme for short-term letting.

q&a an air of exclusivity

Gregory Lewis, a senior negotiator with the estate agent Knight Frank, reveals more about the Balqis project.

How many of these villas have sold?

There are only three villas still available out of 34. We understand Saudi and Russian individuals have bought up to three villas at a time. There are over 40 units, which are as yet unreleased, a mixture of sea view and palm view apartments from Dh3.8 million to Dh7 million.

Is the Palm Jumeirah still the place to be?

If you are after waterside living the Palm is the top choice. For a secluded gated community feel and greenery, Emirates Hills is more suitable. We can point to several heads of state and their families, Bollywood stars, professional sportsmen and chief executives who are residents on the Palm and in Emirates Hills.

With the Nakheel Mall, the new tram connectivity to the monorail and other developments around the crescent coming up, can anything dent property prices on the Palm?

Palm apartment prices and villa prices are still high, even above their peak levels of 2008. The Palm’s principal disadvantage is a lack of retail space.

What makes the Balqis project different from others on the Palm?

It has more traditional Arabic architecture than other developments. It includes a range of accommodation options such as villas, apartments, penthouses and will have the benefit of a five-star hotel.

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Published: December 4, 2014 04:00 AM


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